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Will of Robert Alexander
I Robert Alexander of Saint John’s Newfoundland being in perfect health both of body and mind do make this my last will and testament in manner following hereby revoking and annulling all former wills by me made.
1st. All my lawful debts to be paid by my executors (hereinafter named) as soon after my decease as it may be convenient for them to defray the same.
2nd. I hereby appoint George T. Rendell and Robert H. Prowse of Saint John’s aforesaid Merchants to be executors to this my last will and testament for which services they are to receive one hundred pounds currency each to be retained by them out of proceeds of my estate.
3rd. I give and bequeath to my dear sister Isabella Alexander now residing at Bonavista in Newfoundland aforesaid, the sum of two thousand pounds currency, absolutely for her special use and behoof.
4th. I give and bequeath to my dear niece Helen Martin the daughter of my deceased sister Elizabeth Alexander or Martin, now residing at Bonavista aforesaid, the sum of three thousand pounds currency, absolutely, to her special use and behoof.
5th. I give and bequeath to my dear niece Isabella Martin or Hall, wife of Martin Luther Hall of Liverpool, England, and daughter of my deceased sister Elizabeth Alexander or Martin aforesaid, the sum of three thousand pounds currency, absolutely, to her special use and behoof.
6th. I give and bequeath to each of the children of the said Martin Luther Hall, and Isabella Hall five in number, say, Ada 1, Kate 2, Isabella 3, Frank 4, Archibald 5, Hall, the sum of one thousand pounds currency each to be paid over to their father (in trust) and to be invested by him in Government stock or Consols in the names of the several children as above named (or survivors of them at the time of my demise, said sum of one thousand pounds currency each is to remain and accumulate on interest until the said children or survivor of them shall become of age say girls eighteen and boys twenty one years respectively after which the principal and accrued interest shall be paid over to them or survivors of them.
7th. I give and bequeath to the Lord Bishop of Newfoundland for the time being (in trust) the sum of one thousand five hundred pounds currency to be appropriated as follows, viz One thousand pounds towards the fund for completion of the Cathedral Church of Saint John the Baptist in Saint John’s aforesaid and Five hundred pounds towards the support and maintenance of the Institution known as the Church of England Asylum for widows and orphans in Saint John’s aforesaid.
8th. I give and bequeath towards the erection of a Sailors & Fishermen’s Home in Saint John’s aforesaid the sum of one thousand pounds currency provided a sufficient sum be otherwise subscribed and collected to enable such suitable buildings for the purpose to be erected and completed within two years after my demise, my executors are empowered to exercise their discretion as regards this bequest then if sufficient additional funds be not forthcoming so as to build and equip a suitable home within the time prescribed then this bequest shall be revoked and shall revert to my general estate to be dealt with as hereinafter provided.
9th. I give and bequeath to my godson _____ Bayly son of the Revd Augustus Bayly of Bonavista aforesaid the sum of five hundred pounds currency, absolutely to his special use and behoof.
10th. I give and bequeath to my housemaid Kate Brine the sum of fifty pounds currency for her special use and behoof.
11th. I give and bequeath to my farm servant Patrick Redmond the sum of fifty pounds currency for his special use and behoof.
12. I give and bequeath to the Institution known as the Colonial and Continental School Society the sum of five hundred pounds currency.
13th. I give and bequeath to a fund to be named Alexander Charity the sum of two thousand pounds currency said Fund to be appropriated (say the yearly accruing interest on the said Fund) in the support and maintenance of poor widows and orphans in my native town of Bonavista aforesaid My executors are to place the said sum of Two thousand pounds in some safe investment and the yearly accruing interest is to be paid over to a Committee composed of the Resident Magistrate and the several Ministers of the respective Congregations at Bonavista aforesaid who are to dispense the same to suitable claimants without any charge or deduction whatsoever.
14th. I give and bequeath to my dear friend Lady Eliza Carter wife of Sir Fredk B.T. Carter of Saint John’s aforesaid the sum of five hundred pounds currency to her special use and behoof.
15th. I give and bequeath to Elizabeth Gillwood wife of Lt Colnl Gillwood residing at Edgbaston, Birmingham, England, the sum of five hundred pounds currency to her special use and behoof.
16th. I give and bequeath to my cousin John Graham of Saint John’s aforesaid, Master Mariner, the sum of five hundred pounds currency to his special use and behoof.
17th. The property known as Avalon House & Grounds, DesBarres three cornered lot on Topsail Road, Offly’s Farm near River side and the field on South side Hill lying between properties of Ryan on east and St. John on the west together with all horses, carriages, Farm stock, Implements, house furniture & plenishings and all other property whatsoever in and upon the said premises (save presentation plate & watches) which are to be the property of my sister Isabella as aforesaid) is to be disposed of by my executors at such time and under such circumstances as may appear to them most advantageous and the proceeds to be placed to credit of my general estate.
18th. All monies remaining in my office balance due me at Union Bank of Newfoundland pr J. & W. Stewart Greenock, or Newfoundland, or elsewhere, proceeds of promissory notes, which are to be all called in and paid at maturity, due proceeds of my 4/64 shares in the steamers Tanget and Walrus which are to be disposed of at the best price obtainable, and all other assets of whatever nature and kind soever are to form part of my general estate as aforesaid.
19th. My executors will exercise their discretion as to the investments appearing in my Books and if advisable in their opinion may dispose of such as may to them seem desirable, and reinvest the same in better securities in the interest of my legatees.
20th. I give and bequeath to each of the children of John Syme and P?????g his wife, eight in number viz: 1. Quentin, 2. William, 3, Lilly, 4. Annie, 5. Thomas, 6, Charles, 7. Frank, 8 Graham Syme, the sum of fifty pounds currency each to be paid over to their father John Syme to be dealt with as he may deem most desirable.
The residue of my estate is to be apportioned as follows, viz. One eighth to my dear sister Isabella Alexander, one eighth to my dear niece Helen Martin, one eighth to each of the children of Martin Luther Hall and Isabella Hall, mentioned in purpose No. 6, say Ada, Katie, Isabella, Frank and Archibald Hall, one eighth to Isabella Hall wife of Martin Luther Hall mentioned in purpose No. 5. Should any of the preceding legatees predecease me, such legacy will revert to my general estate and falls to be apportioned to the surviving legatees as enumerated in preceding purpose 21. Witness my hand and seal at Saint John’s aforesaid this twelfth day of January one thousand eight hundred and eighty four. Robert Alexander (LS) Signed and sealed in presence of Alexander Laurence & Michael Mullally and in presence of each other, Alexander Laurence, Michael Mullally.
Note: The wills in those will books are NOT actual wills. They are either hand-written copies or in later years typed copies of a, "last will and testament," written or typed by the court clerk, after the death of the testator, when the executor presented them to the court for probate. The court clerk didn't list the signatures at the bottom, he (or she) just put them in the book in whatever order they were in, on the original document, no spacing most of the time, no punctuation and also no paragraphs. The originals were kept by the executor.
We who have typed these wills, have made every effort to include all the errors that were on the microfilm, in order to avoid destroying the integrity of the originals, where ever they may be. However, in some of the very long wills, we have tried to insert paragraphs to make it easier for the researcher to read the document.
Page Contributed by Judy Benson & Ivy F. Benoit
Page Revised by Ivy F. Benoit (Wednesday February 20, 2013)
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